Connecting Cash Transfers with Care for Better Child and Family Well-Being: Evidence from a Qualitative Evaluation in South Africa

Leila Patel & Eleanor Ross - Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal


Limited evidence exists of the effectiveness of combining cash transfers and family strengthening interventions in developing country contexts. This study provides evidence from an evaluation of a bespoke family strengthening intervention for Child Support Grant beneficiaries in 10 urban communities in Johannesburg, South Africa. A qualitative pre-post design was used to assess the effectiveness of this combination intervention including a nine-month follow-up study. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention and non-intervention groups allowing for comparison between the groups over time. The intervention improved child-caregiver and family relations; strengthened networks of social support and caregiver engagement in schooling and enhanced parenting and financial capabilities. Findings were inconclusive in improving symptoms of depression and in nutritional knowledge and skills. Combination interventions of this kind have the potential to improve child and family well-being in certain domains.